John [the Baptist] answered and said, “A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven.” John 3:27 (NASB)
I saw this scripture somewhere recently when I was looking for something else. And it kind of pulled me up with a start as I realised something – and remembered that I had heard Derek Prince preaching something very similar many years ago.
In essence, there are two ways of getting things: one is receiving and one is grabbing. So many people in our culture today get things by grabbing – we see it all the time in the dog-eat-dog rat race we call the world (sorry for the mixed metaphors there). But the issue with grabbing – the problem with it - is what you get by grabbing is never permanent. You can have it for a while, but it will not be yours in the end. The other way to get things is to receive. Yes, you heard correctly. To receive what God has for you! And in the long run, you are never going to have more than you receive from God. The Bible is quite clear about this, but it doesn’t stop even Christians from the frenetic grabbing I see all the time. It’s nuts!
The only thing that’s permanent in your life (or in mine) is that which we receive from God. So why don’t we stop grabbing for a while. Stop grasping, stop trying to get all the time, and just turn to God and say, “God, whatever You want me to have, that’s what I want. I’ll be satisfied. It will always be a blessing and it will always be in abundance. I will not go after that big position or that large sum of money or that particular form of pleasure unless, God, I can receive it from You.” Why is that a better way? Because what we receive from God will bless you. It will be truly yours. It will be permanent. It will not do you harm in the end.
But the things we get by grasping often, in the long run, we’ll be sorry we ever reached for them and grasped them. They often exact a toll from us in the grabbing that is way more than what we get – ask any workaholic, or success addict that has been at it for years. It’s hollow! There is no joy in it.
Does that mean ambition is wrong? No, of course not! Ambition planted in our hearts by God and led by his Spirit, well, that’s destiny, or our inheritance by faith. It is never realised by grabbing and grasping, it comes to us as we walk with God and are led by Him. Sometimes that is not easy. There are challenges and blocks along the way that require boldness and faith and courage – but that is not grabbing.
So remember the secure things, the things that bring peace and real blessings, are the things that you received from heaven and from God. Learn to trust Him in this.
Hoping you are the same.